LEVitating Your Ride

Street-legal light electric vehicles offer super-cheap, super green way to get around

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you drive one of these Matra Light Electric Vehicles, you'd be paying only 2 cents per mile. And you can take a bike with you!

    If you're looking for a cheap, energy efficient way to get around the city, an electric vehicle may be just your (canvass) bag.

    The Illinois Institute of Technology showed off some so-called Light Electric Vehicles Monday, and even offered test drives.

    Light, or neighborhood, electric vehicles run entirely on a battery and have a range of about 30 to 40 miles per charge. They are street legal in Chicago, but you can't take them on the highways.

    Matra Light Electric Vehicle

    [CHI] Matra Light Electric Vehicle
    If you drive one of these Matra Light Electric Vehicles, you'd be paying only 2 cents per mile. And you can take a bike with you!

    IIT showcased LEVs from Global Electric Motorcars and Matra (GE's partner in France).

    Matra's concept model even has a bicycle with an electric motor that folds up into the LEV, so you always have two options to get around. Both the LEV and the bike recharge with through a solar panel on the LEV's roof.

    If you're thinking seriously about getting a LEV but are worried about the cost, don't forget the 10 percent federal tax credit you'll get if you buy one before 2011.